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How to become a successful CIO

Nayela Deeba | April 11, 2017
At the CIO Conference Singapore 2017, experts from CXA Group, AIA, ANZ, and IDC discuss about the new role of CIOs and what IT leaders need to do to succeed in the digital transformation economy.

Panel Discussion
Panelists at CIO Conference 2017
(L-R: Sreeram Iyer, Ofir Shalev, Sri Narayanan,Prashant Agarwal and Sandra Ng)

Digital transformation doesn't just affect organisations; the role of the CIO is impacted by it too.

Besides ensuring that systems in their organisations are working fine, CIOs are increasingly required to "deliver innovations, and enable them to scale across the business," said Sandra Ng,Group Vice President Practice Group, IDC Asia/Pacific, during CIO Conference Singapore 2017 panel discussion.

Agreeing with Ng, Ofir Shalev, Chief Technology Officer, CXA Group, added that "CIOs should understand the friction points and solve problems for their organisations by improving their front-end and/or back-end."

Sreeram Iyer, Chief Operating Officer, Institutional Banking, ANZ, and Prashant Agarwal, Director, AIA, added that CIOs also need to be part of the business and understand their customers.

To enable CIOs to play a bigger role (than simply operational), companies must first change the key performance indicators (KPIs) for their CIOs. "[Some CIOs' KPIs] are still based on cost optimisation instead of business outcome or revenue generation, [which hinders CIOs from contributing more to their organisations's digital transformation journey,]" said Ng.

Personally, CIOs should continue educating themselves about new technologies and business models to stay relevant and bring new ideas to their organisations, advised the panellists.

Ng concluded the discussion by advising IT leaders to"be curious and try new things". She also urged CIOs to be part of the team that leads their organisation to become digital native enterprise to win in the digital transformation economy.   

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